Strategies for Mindful Living
Getting rid of stress is imperative, and we spoke of this in my earlier blog, as to how living consciously in the present moment, we could actually manage to eliminate stress. We call this Mindfulness.
In simple and lucid words we could say that, any activity that you perform, where you stay fully present, and very well rooted in the "here" and "now" along with a completely non judgemental attitude, can be called Mindfulness.
How to get there and start practicing and living in this state of mindfulness, is of course the crucial answer. As I had mentioned earlier, there are various strategies which we can adapt to this very vital and extreme state of relaxation, but I am going to concentrate here today on what we will call Mindfulness meditation.
In itself is a powerful word. Most people are actually very wary of this word in many ways. People feel it is just too much associated with the spiritual process and has a sort of spiritual connotation. Whereas in reality I feel it is just a practice we need to learn to discipline our wayward mind. We need to use our mind as a vehicle, and use mindfulness as a tool, to reach a level of balance and relaxation.
There are many forms of mindfulness meditation, that could facilitate and enhance this process of relaxation. I will introduce you to certain techniques, you may use to reach this state of mindfulness relaxation, by using all that is available to you in your immediate environment.
This is our best playground and our school for learning. There is everything available here, for our own personal growth and and enhancement, and also to learn how to lead a stress free life.
Our simple day to day things, which we are actually indulging in everyday, are our facilitators to reach a stress free zone. We need to just have a keen sense of perception and an avid curiosity to know, and perform better.
Here the trick is to turn your attention away from the everyday chatter, of the mind, and to turn the focus, onto your body's activity.
Allow your mind to maintain it's focus inwardly tuned and not running helter skeltor after every wayward thought.
Mindfulness meditation involves breathing, practice, mental imagery, muscle and body relaxation etc.
How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation
1. Find yourself a quiet comfortable place, sit on a chair or on the ground.
2. Put aside thoughts of past and future.
3. Stay in the present moment.
4. Pat attention to your breath
5. Observe your mind
6. Focus on a point in the center of your forehead and observe your thoughts come and go
7. Don't be harsh on yourself
8. Do not judge yourself
9. Be calm
10. Keep flowing with your thoughts
11. Don't suppress your thoughts
12. Slowly turn back your attention to your breath
13. Be with it for a minute or two
14. Get up feeling fresh, relaxed and rejuvenated
Living your day to day experiences completely, is also a way of Mindfulness meditation. Meditation does not essentially mean that you are sitting in a formal position and concentrating. Your each and every action can be a meditation, if done with complete awareness. The essential thing is to give yourself to the experience.
EATING YOUR MEAL
Chewing on every bite and savouring the taste is a Mindfulness meditation. Feeling consciously with an awareness, every activity we perform, is what it's about.
BRUSHING YOUR TEETH
This is a daily activity we perform. Be consciously aware of your action. Feel your feet firmly on the ground. The brush in your hand, moving to clean the teeth. Experience every miniscule feeling. This is Mindfulness meditation.
While driving at a comfortable pace, keep your attention on the drive., even though your thoughts are running, focus is important.
Make your fitness trip a practice in Mindfulness. While exercising, keep your focus on your breath and your mind centered.
While doing this physical activity, remain calm and centered.
All these are simple forms of Mindfulness meditation.
Living a stress free life is a choice, feeling stressed is a choice too, though this could be happening at a sub CONSCIOUS level.
Be careful about the choices you make. Do not look for complicated solutions to life's stresses. Take a peek into the simplicity of every action. Live to enjoy it and feel relaxed, joyful and happy.